Critic Sites Are Not Commercial

from the good-move dept

Years ago, we wrote about the case of Uzi Nissan vs. Nissan Motors. Uzi Nissan happened to own the domain name, which he used to run his own computing business. In the dispute, Nissan Motors apparently noted that, in talking about the case on the site, Uzi Nissan was engaged in “commercial speech” which was designed to take business away from them, and therefore, he was violating their trademark. However, the Court of Appeals today ruled that sites critical of a company are not engaged in “commercial speech”, meaning that any site designed to criticize the actions of a company may not be violating that company’s trademark. The court found that a lower court ruling prohibiting Uzi Nissan from talking about the case was an improper violation of Uzi Nissan’s free speech.

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